A cross-platform mobile app is an app that can work across the top platforms: iOS, Windows Phone and Android.
It is a promise of cloud storage that will enable customers to access data anytime, everywhere, on any mobile device. As such, many are of the view that cross-platform tools (CPTs) can be used to solve the problem of mobile fragmentation. Thus, such tools form a critical component of solving the problem of cloud data accessibility.
However, there are many challenges associated with cross-platform mobile applications, among them being the need to reconcile the native languages of each platform while maintaining a consistent user experience and creating elegance across the platforms.
One of the greatest challenges that is associated with cross-platform mobile applications is that each of the mobile operating systems has a native language and Software Development Kit (SDK). For instance, iOS has objective C with cocoa, a Windows phone has C# and Android has Java. In that case, a cross-platform app has to be made that allows code sharing such as C++ and HTML5. Tools created using HTML5 or C++ have a significant advantage in supporting accessibility and functionality across the platforms.
For users, the feeling of uniformity ensures the customers can appreciate the unique values provided by the mobile apps irrespective of what type of mobile device they are using. Because the desired functionality of the app is the same, the customers are able to use the application without any ramp-up time. In other words, the customers feel safe and assured because cross-platform mobile app offers the same interactions across the platform. For example, command icons are placed on the same place on the screen as on other devices.
The only major setback with developing cross-platform mobile app is that product development process may take many months, or even years in the testing and planning phases.